The bite did cause a small mark on the agent’s hand, per the official.
— Sean Sullivan (@WaPoSean) March 10, 2021
Thank Murphy the Trickster God, the media has decided to treat this responsibly. NBC News:
The Bidens’ 3-year-old German shepherd Major was involved in an incident Monday in which he was “surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.
The White House medical unit handled the incident, she said, adding that “no further treatment was needed.” She declined to say whether a Secret Service agent was involved in the incident.
A source familiar with the matter told NBC News on Tuesday that the dog “nipped” a Secret Service agent’s hand. This official also said “no skin was broken” and described it as “an extremely minor injury.” The agent continued to work that day and has continued working since then, the official said.
Major and the first family’s older German shepherd, Champ, were sent to the Bidens’ Wilmington, Delaware, home and are being watched by family friends, which Psaki said was planned because first lady Jill Biden is traveling this week…
Psaki noted that the dogs “are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people.”
The press secretary said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that it’s typical for the dogs to be in Delaware when Jill Biden is traveling. The first lady is in Washington state as part of a West Coast trip to tour military bases and meet with service members’ families and is not expected to return until Wednesday…
The Bidens are responsible dog people, which is why the shelter let them adopt Major (‘a very exuberant puppy, one who doesn’t always know his own strength, who required an experienced GSD owner’) in the first place. Here’s a good CNN video interview with the trainer from that shelter [warning: advertising intro] explaining the dynamics — Major got a little ahead of himself, and his people are taking steps to ensure it won’t happen again.
Personal just-my-opinion addendum, from my amateur experience with dogs: German Shepherd Dogs are known to be ‘nippers’; they’ve been bred to be very protective, and the breed started out as cattle-herders (Corgis and Australian Cattle Dogs have the same tendency). Also, both dogs are ‘being punished’ (NOT) because separating Champ from Major would be stressful for Champ, because they’re family (packmates), and that’s extremely important to dogs.
In fact (since we ended up in a similar situation with two of our own rescue dogs) it would not surprise me, when the full story comes out, if Major turns out to have overreacted to what he perceived as a threat to Champ, because one way dogs demonstrate their social affiliations is by ‘protecting’ their packmates, even when it’s — shall we say — outside their remit, and not actually gratifying to the protectee!